Islands of Warmth

December 5, 2016

Last month's full moon

Last month’s full moon

“The cold has the philosophical value of reminding men that the universe does not love us. Cold as absolute as the black tomb rules space; sunshine is a local condition, and the moon hangs in the sky to illustrate that matter is usually inanimate. . . . To return back indoors after exposure to the bitter, inimical, implacable cold is to experience gratitude for the shelters of civilization, for the islands of warmth that life creates.”
— John Updike, “The Cold”

I am getting tired of the dark, the gloom, the clouds, the cold, the dampness, the rain.  I dream of warm sun on my skin.  That local condition is months away.  In the meantime, I will try to be grateful for central heating, electric lights, polar fleece, and mittens!




“Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
— Les Brown

Moon Snail Shell # 93, watercolor painting

Moon Snail Shell # 93, watercolor painting

I don’t know the significance of my moon snail shell’s name.  The scientific name does include the Latin word Lunatia.  Its round form does resemble the moon, I think.  Another evocative association for my little art object!


Winter Solstice

December 21, 2009

Moon reflected on Green Lake's surface

“Seattle is the northernmost latitude of any major U.S. city outside Alaska, giving us the Lower 48’s longest summer days.  Of course, we also have the shortest winter days — a 7-1/2 hour difference in daylight between the seasons.”
     — U.S. Naval Obervatory

I welcome the winter solstice, knowing that from here forward, the days will be getting longer.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
     — Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral

First full moon this month -- December 2nd

There will be two full moons this December, on the 2nd and 31st.  (The second full moon in a month is called a “blue moon.”) Yesterday morning I finished my run around Green Lake just as the moon was about to set, so I ran back to the house for my camera.  I wanted to take advantage of the clear skies to photograph the moonset over Phinney Ridge and the lake.  It was a wonderful morning to witness the moon setting just as the morning sun was brightening the day.

Waiting for the moon to set and the sun to rise

The full moon descending in the western skies

Moonset over Phinney Ridge

Full moon touches the horizon